Housing brokerage can help younger adults with visual impairment find new homes

Man-guiding-young-blind-womanAn evaluation of an innovative pilot housing brokerage service has found the initiative to be an effective method for assisting younger adults with visual impairment to find a new home.

Released by sight loss charity Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT), the evaluation report found that the majority of younger adults who used the pilot brokerage service that was run by Housing Options Scotland (HOS) had a positive outcome.

The report, Evaluation of a Housing Brokerage Scheme for younger adults with visual impairment, evaluated the brokerage service, funded by TPT, for younger adults aged 16-44 that was run from September 2015 to March 2016.

HOS provided a person-centred brokerage service to 22 clients with a diverse range of circumstances and housing requirements by adapting its existing housing brokerage approach and model to accommodate the needs of younger adults with visual impairment.

The pilot achieved six definite housing outcomes for clients and identified and anticipated to achieve definite housing outcomes for a further 14 clients. The remaining four clients’ work was at too early a stage to identify and confirm an anticipated housing outcome.

The evaluation was launched at an event in Edinburgh on March 9, where a demonstration of a housing information and advice guide specifically aimed at younger adults with visual impairment was also showcased. The new guide, funded by TPT as part of the same project, will be launched soon.

Dr Lynn Watson, head of research at Thomas Pocklington Trust, said: “Looking for a new home is a stressful time for anyone and it is important that housing organisations are able to provide support to younger adults with visual impairment which takes into consideration their specific needs. We are delighted that Housing Options Scotland has developed a successful pilot service and hope that other organisations will be able to replicate this service across the UK.”

Moira Bayne, chief executive of Housing Options Scotland, added: “We are very grateful to TPT for funding this pilot and delighted with the positive evaluation. We now have much better links with the world of sight loss and a far greater understanding of how to reach out to visually impaired clients.”

The evaluation was carried out by Ian Copeman from Housing & Support Partnership and Imogen Blood from Imogen Blood & Associates.

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